Call us now ! Send us an email s. Brightleaf blvd Smithfield United States

Back to Top

Beyond Age: Why a Roof May Leak Prematurely

Roof of a house
Old roofs are more likely to leak than new roofs, but age is not the only thing that can cause your roof to leak. Below are examples of problems that can cause even relatively new roofs to leak.

Gutter Backup

The main function of the roof gutter is to collect water from the roof and channel the water into the downspouts for safe and efficient drainage. Debris in the gutter interferes with water flow; when the flow of water is blocked, the water may back up under the roof, damage the roof, and trigger a leak.

Leaves from nearby trees, granules from asphalt shingles, and windblown debris are some of the things that block gutters. Clean your gutters regularly to get rid of such debris so that your gutters can play their part in the drainage system.

Roof Debris

Debris will wreak havoc on your roof whether the debris is in the gutters or on the roof. Constant debris on the roof is likely to keep the roof constantly wet too. Roof debris not only attracts moisture, but also blocks sunlight that would otherwise dry the roof.

Constant moisture on the roof can damage the roof. For example, the moisture can trigger wood rot or metal corrosion in different parts of the roof.  After some time, the damage may be extensive enough to create tiny holes on the roof that allow water to leak through the roof into your house.

Accidental Damage

Even a new roof can suffer accidental damage that can trigger leaks. Anything that damages the shingles, roof flashing, or any other part of the roof can cause leaks. For example, a serious hailstorm can dent and damage the flashing and allow water to seep into the roof. A weak tree can also crash onto the roof and trigger leaks.

In serious accidents, you will notice the leak immediately after the damage (in the next rain or snowfall). Minor damages may fester for some time before they leak. For example, a missing shingle may take some time before it triggers a leak.

Ice Dams

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms on the lower edges of the roof during cold weather, particularly when the weather is cold and the upper parts of the roof are warmer than the lower parts. Fallen snow on the upper (and warmer) surfaces of the roof melts and flows down the roof where it meets a cold surface and refreezes. The ridge or wall of the ice that forms then blocks further water flow.

The upper surfaces of your roof tend to have higher temperatures than the lower surfaces of the roof due to heat from inside the house. Ice dams, therefore, tend to form on houses with poor attic insulation.

With time, the volume of water that collects behind the dam or ridge may find its way into your roof. The water that would normally flow off the roof may find its way through tiny cracks on the roof, deteriorate roofing materials, and seep into the attic to cause further damage.

Negligent Roof Repairs or Installations 

Lastly, your roof may also experience premature damage due to unskilled or negligent roof installations or repairs. For example, a DIY installation of satellite dishes on the roof may damage the roof. Another example is when a storm rips flashing off the roof, and you decide to replace the flashing without a professional's input.

Both new and old roofs can leak. Contact Lane's Contracting, Inc., for a diagnosis and repair if you suspect a leak on your relatively new roof. Act fast before the damage worsens and necessitates an even more costly repair or replacement.